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Georgetown, Guyana – (July 14, 2017) Minister of Social Protection, Ms. Amna Ally, today, pledged to provide support to the 43 graduates of First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger’s 17th Self Reliance and Success in Business Workshop for stakeholders from Buxton and its environs. The ceremony was held in the Tipperary Hall, Buxton, Demerara-Mahaica (Region Four).

Minister Ally said that she was honoured to be among the graduates, who are at the heart of the administration’s programmes to empower women and men.

“If Guyana is to develop as a nation, we will need all the economic growth, dynamism and ingenuity we can get in the years ahead. Thankfully, a crucial part of the solution is staring us right in the face- unleashing the economic power of women through the Self Reliance workshops … I urge you all to utilize the knowledge that you have gained because now is the time for you to venture into the entrepreneurial world. Women owned businesses are … increasing in the economies of almost all countries and Guyana should be no different,” she said.

Minister Ally also noted that while she was inspired by the graduates’ business plans, she was particularly pleased to hear some of the innovative projects that they plan to undertake in their communities to curb social problems such as truancy and teenage pregnancy. “I want all of you to know how important and valuable you all are and your contribution, regardless of how small, can play a significant role in all development spheres within our society,” she said.

Minister of Social Protection, Ms. Amna Ally (second from left) and Ms. Joycelyn Wilson, who helped to coordinate the 17th Self Reliance and Success in Business Workshop for residents of Buxton and its environs, pose with these two graduates after the graduation ceremony.

The Minister also lauded the First Lady for spearheading these and other workshops aimed at providing opportunities that will enhance the lives of citizens. Through these workshops, she said, Mrs. Granger has been a driving force in advancing the government’s initiatives “to ensure that broader skill sets and ideas are available to both men and women within all communities” as it seeks “to create an enabling welfare states – one which helps people to help themselves”.

Meanwhile, Facilitator of Interweave Solutions (Guyana) Incorporated, Mr. Sanjay Yohann Pooran said a total of 580 graduates, comprising men and men, have been trained across all ten Administrative Regions. He noted that the workshop aims to teach the participants how to better manage and/or start micro-enterprises and how to create balance in their homes and communities. “Those three pillars; the ‘Six Ps’, the Quality of Life Plan and the Community Action Plan form a holistic approach to development in life. Those are the three things that we emphasise, the Circles of Success, which we know when applied will yield great success and benefit to those who choose to follow the principles,” he said.

Several of the graduates were eager to share their experiences during the workshop. In an invited comment, Ms. Natasha Hasan of Vigilance, East Coast Demerara said that she was grateful for the workshop as it has given her the skills that she needs to become an entrepreneur. “We have learnt a great lot and I’m so grateful for the facilitators of Interweave [Solutions] for coming to give us all the know-how. It not only encompassed the business aspect but it tells you about your self-worth, what you can do and it also equipped us with the knowledge how to assess our lives honestly and our moral obligation to our community,” she said.

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Minister of Social Protection, Ms. Amna Ally and Ms. Cheryl Dornick after the graduation ceremony for participants in the First Lady’s 17th Self Reliance and Success in Business Workshop

Mr. Jaswick Hope of Friendship East Coast Demerara, also in an invited comment said that he was honoured to participate in the workshop and intends to share the knowledge that he has gained. “I take it in good stead because I plan to do some cash crop farming so it would help me a great lot and at the same time I can assist my fellow brothers who need to come in the same stream,” he said.

The programme was chaired by Confidential Secretary to the First Lady, Lieutenant Colonel (ret’d) Yvonne Smith. Facilitator – Interweave Solutions (Guyana) Incorporated, Ms. Crystal Baptiste, Ms. Joycelyn Wilson and Mr. Fitzroy Younge, Trustee of Tipperary Hall, who assisted with coordinating the sessions in Buxton, also attended the workshop. The Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) Steel Pan Orchestra of Buxton provided musical accompaniment.

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